Nco- the Backbone Essay

1671 WordsAug 9, 20127 Pages
Backbone Backbone, a term commonly used in reference to the non-commissioned officer. NCOs hold together our professional organizations. For American military, our NCO Corps dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. With many of our soldiers having served in the French-American War, we adopted much of our rank structure from the British military. Officers can’t be everywhere at once, so the NCOs maintained discipline within the ranks. Soldiers were fighting for the freedom of our nation and needed the proper skills to do so. Skills such as rifle marksmanship and marching were key to the militaries of that time. Casualties are a constant occurrence in the military. Soldiers would be wounded or killed at a high rate in battles. They would also be captured by the enemy. In that case, they would be hung for treason. Other than loss in battle, disease was a major factor in casualties in early wars. Non-commissioned officers were needed to ensure the health of soldiers. Soldiers would become casualties due to poor hygiene and food poisoning while in camp. NCOs ensured that soldiers were equipped with proper clothing and given healthy food needed to sustain them. Fighting in the Revolution was very risky for the common soldier. A man would leave his home risking life and limb for the sake of freedom. The thought of dying in battle was miniscule to other effects. Soldiers could be captured by the enemy. In which case, they would be hung for treason. They also put their family at the same risk. NCOs would have to put this in the back of their and their soldiers’ minds. During earlier wars in American military, prisoners of war were not treated as fairly as they would be today. Wounded or captured enemy were often shot or hung, simply for the fact that they were the enemy. Today, non-commissioned officers must enforce rules set by

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